My novel Dolphins in the Mud was originally published in 2012, and written in 2011. This version, new from Harmony Ink, has had some revisions and re-editing done.
Back in 2011, I was trying to think of a YA novel to write as a follow-up to something else I had written. The idea-creating section of my brain had apparently gone on vacation, so I turned to a few YA-age people I knew for suggestions. A friend of my older child suggested I write something in which “two boys fall in love.” My younger child said I should write something with dolphins in it. The book is dedicated to both of them, and main character Chris is named after my older child’s friend.
I wasn’t quite sure how to combine the two, until I remembered something that had happened the previous year. Something to which I had a bit of a connection. In March of 2010, some dolphins stranded in Drummer Cove, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The story was on the news, and I remembered watching some of the footage as they tried to save the dolphins.
The connection is that about a month after the dolphin stranding, my husband and I got married and went on our honeymoon—to a cottage owned by one of his aunts, on Drummer Cove, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Someone who lived nearby talked with me a bit about the dolphins while we were there.
The concept of dolphins stranding in Drummer Cove gave me a place to start with the story my child and my other child’s friend had asked for. I just had to figure out how to put the pieces together, and how to present the stranding accurately.
The latter was the easier part. I contacted IFAW, the agency that had worked on rescuing the dolphins, and a very nice young woman gave me the information I needed. Once I had that information, and knowing that a number of people had showed up to see the stranding and the rescue, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out how to bring together the “two boys who fall in love.” They could meet on the shore of Drummer Cove.
From there, the pieces came together. Chris Talberman became the main character, and his younger, autistic sister Cece’s desire to see the dolphins became the catalyst for Chris to meet Noah Silver. And the dolphins’ stranding became the metaphor for Chris’s life as more and more responsibility was pushed onto him.
I’m very excited to have Harmony Ink re-release this novel, and I hope readers enjoy it!